Uncropped Memories

Join me for a photo-inspired trip down memory lane.

A whole flood of memories washed over me when I paused to look at this scanned photo today. While so many of my generation “cropped” their photos to put them into elaborate scrapbooks, I’m glad I wasn’t artsy-crafty enough to enjoy that sort of activity and this photo survived totally intact. I’m reminded of so many special things from this era of my life as I look at all of the elements in this slightly fuzzy old photo. Join me as I play a little game of ‘I Spy With My Little Eye’ with this photo.

Story Time with Daddy – circa 1980

My ‘I Spy’ Memories

  • This photo was taken in our very first home on 49th Street in Milwaukee.
  • It was a tiny 2-bedroom, 1-bath bungalow-style house boasting about 600 square feet of living space. I’ve seen a more recent Zillow listing for this house stating it has 1,487 square feet. Unless they put on an addition, they must have counted the basement and the tiny rear entryway.
  • Wayne still had a Garfunkel-ish mop of curly hair. He would tell you that the hair on top of his head has migrated to his chin over the years.
  • I remember how much our kids loved it when their daddy would read a book to them because he made all the necessary silly voices for each character.
  • That classic sofa was a hand-me-down from my best friend’s mom. Betty Banner’s gift of her used sofa was a fancy-schmancy step up for us in the world of living room furniture, replacing a freebie imitation leather futon which threatened to slide you off onto the floor whenever you tried to sit on it.
  • The sewing machine was a birthday gift from my husband two months after we were married. [Note: I tell the story about this sewing machine here.]
  • I used that sewing machine to make the heart-shaped pillows on my sofa (definitely an 80’s thing), farm-themed curtains for the kids’ bedroom, and clothing for myself. You wouldn’t know it by looking at this photo, but I also made shirts for Wayne and Matt…and cute little dresses for Beth, who apparently wasn’t into wearing clothes on this particular day.
  • Money was tight, but Wayne and I splurged and bought the maple writing desk so I would have someplace other than the kitchen table where I could set up my sewing machine. I think that desk has since taken on a new life in our daughter’s house.
  • That coffee table is actually a toy box we bought at an unfinished furniture store. Wayne and I finished it together and now, more than 40 years later, it sits in front of a sunny window in our home with lots of houseplants on top. Sadly, I have only a vague recollection of what is in it.
  • That purse on the coffee table was a favorite. It rarely had money in it, but my greatest earthly treasures were sitting right there on that sofa.
  • The afghan on the sofa back was crocheted for me by my Grandma Peet. I remember her asking me what the colors were in my new home. I told her “earthtones,” because that was the trendy thing in the 70’s.
  • The ball-fringe curtains on the windows were purchased by my grandma too. I remember feeling like a wealthy woman because I had curtains from Country Curtains on my windows.
  • Wayne and I painted that table lamp together. It was one of two plaster casting-type lamps that we painted for our abode. The lamp tables were Wayne’s stereo speakers. I remember we spent more for the lampshades than we did for the lamps.
  • That avocado green carpeting was straight out of the 60’s and it butted up to the burnt orange vinyl tile flooring in the itty-bitty kitchen. Yeh, we were that cool.
  • That rocking chair was gifted to me by my husband after the birth of Matt. There was a heat vent on the floor right in front of that rocker. I would put my feet on that vent and the warm air would whoosh under my bathrobe as I rocked my fussy baby to sleep on cold nights. Memories of rocking both of my babies in that chair have kept me from parting with it as I now seek to “downsize”.

Thanks for joining me for my little reminisce down Memory Lane. I’m thankful for this nostalgic moment captured on film 40+ years ago.

4823 N. 49th Street – Milwaukee, WI
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